The Douglas Cannon has been part of Wesleyan’s history for 150 years—yet generations of students have come and gone without laying eyes on the peripatetic cannon. To celebrate its anniversary, herewith is a short primer:
The 29.5-inch Douglas Cannon has been part of campus lore since 1867. Originally, it was fired on ceremonial occasions.
In 1957, the cannon disappeared from its pedestal, and a tradition of cannon-napping soon began in earnest.
Its travels included a surprise appearance in the University’s sesquicentennial birthday cake in 1981. Photos of the cannon, if authentic, show it in London and in Paris, framed by the Eiffel Tower.
With much fanfare, in 1989 the cannon was mounted again on College Row. “Home at Last,” read the plaque—but surprise! Within a month it was gone again. Since then, the wayward cannon has rarely been seen on campus, and then only fleetingly.